A Utah federal judge was one of eight members on a court panel that dismissed dozens of ethics complaints this week against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups — who has been a federal judge in Utah for the past decade — was among those in the 10th Circuit Judicial Council tasked to review 83 claims lodged against Kavanaugh from lawyers, doctors, professors and other concerned citizens.
The judicial council in the Washington, D.C. circuit where Kavanaugh had previously worked asked that the Denver-based 10th Circuit Court handle the complaints to avoid a conflict of interest.
The complaints varied, but most centered around accusations that Kavanaugh made false statements during nomination proceedings to the D.C. Circuit in 2004 and 2006 and to the Supreme Court earlier this year. Others complained that Kavanaugh made inappropriate partisan statements that showed bias, that he lacked judicial temperament and treated members of the Senate Judiciary Committee with disrespect.
But Waddoups and the other judges on the panel ultimately concluded that while the judiciary has the authority to discipline federal judges, that power did not extend as high as the U.S. Supreme Court.
Because Kavanaugh is now a Supreme Court judge, the panel found, the judicial council no longer has jurisdiction to review his conduct. The panel made no findings on the merits on the complaint, according to the 10-page order, saying it did not have the jurisdiction to do so.